Source Librivox recording of a public-domain text
recording of The Shuttle, by Frances Hodgson Burnett read by Tabithat
Rosalie Vanderpoel, the daughter of an American multimillionaire marries an impoverished English baronet and goes to live in England. She all but loses contact with her family in America. Years later her younger sister Bettina, beautiful, intelligent and extremely rich, goes to England to find what has happened to her sister. She finds Rosalie shabby and dispirited, cowed by her husband's ill treatment. Bettina sets about to rectify matters. She meets Lord Mount Dunstan, an impoverished earl, who lives nearby and they fall in love, but he cannot speak because it would look as if he were after her money...
This is a romance but it is also about the rejuvenating effects of Americans and American money on a somewhat decadent English aristocracy.
(Summary by Tabithat)
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February 1, 2015
As a child my favorite books included A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. I love them still. Thanks to Librivox I have discovered novels by Frances Hodgson Burnett written for adult readers. Of those that I have read so far, The Shuttle is my favorite.
The shuttle refers to the increasing ease with which travelers could voyage between England and the US. Titled Englishmen began to look to wealthy American girls to salvage family estates. Of course these unions did not always end well.
While The Shuttle is a captivating romance, I particularly loved the restoration of the English estate. Here is an element near-fantasy such as from the The Secret Garden, now brought into a gripping love story.
Excellent story and very well read by Tabithat
February 27, 2014
I truly enjoyed this book; did not want it to end. I wish that the the reader of this book would consider reading more books. Her voice made this story come alive and I felt the things that were happening. Every now and then comes a reader that just "WOWS" you and this reader did a fantastic job. I wish to thank her personally.
September 12, 2011
This is an fine reading of an outstanding novel. Once again the admirable team at LibriVox bring us a largely forgotten masterpiece. Thank you!
TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)
May 13, 2010
Gripping story with a dose of social commentary
Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisa_May_Alcott, and Frances Hodgson Burnett was English and wrote The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Hodgson_Burnett), but otherwise I agree totally with TheBookworm's comments - this is real treat by an excellent reader.
Betty Vanderpoel has everything that money can buy, plus she is beautiful, confident, perceptive and wise - all that we pour into our vision of the "woman who has it all." But what she wants most is out of reach simply because she is a "woman who has it all."
Lord Mount Dunstan's estate was squandered by his ancestor's bad living. Yet somehow he has broken from the past and inherited the strong character and good morals which years earlier made his family great. He deserves something better than a lonely life on an impoverished estate, but his pride keeps him from what could be his for the asking.
It's an effective framework to compare old England and new America. But don't let the prospect of a little social commentary scare you - at the bottom, it is a gripping story filled with surprises and engaging characters that had me sitting in the car many nights after my evening commute was over because I just "had to hear" the end of the chapter.